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SUNY Potsdam Rated in Top 50 Master’s Universities in U.S. by Washington Monthly Magazine

August 28, 2023

Washington Monthly Ranks SUNY Potsdam in Top 8 Percent of American Master’s Universities in 2023 Rankings 

From left, Caroline Vines ’27, Ella Hutchins Class of ’26 and Emily Jordan ’26, all student-athletes on the women’s soccer team, walk to class during SUNY Potsdam’s first day of classes on Monday, August, 28, 2023.

Washington Monthly has ranked The State University of New York at Potsdam at No. 47 in the country in its national master’s universities ratings, in the magazine’s 2023 College Guide, released today. Since the rankings were first created 18 years ago, SUNY Potsdam has continually climbed the list. 

SUNY Potsdam was among the top 8 percent of national master’s universities rated this year, coming out at No. 47 out of all 604 institutions on the list, and No. 34 among the public colleges listed. 

“For over two centuries, SUNY Potsdam has been steadfast in providing an education that is not only accessible and affordable, but also deeply ingrained in the betterment of society. This latest national recognition affirms our commitment to creating the difference-makers of tomorrow—helping students graduate with less debt, on a path to successful and fulfilling careers.”

Dr. Suzanne Smith SUNY Potsdam President

For its guide, Washington Monthly ranks colleges based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and promoting public service. 

“Now more than ever, we need a better set of benchmarks for what ‘excellence’ is in higher education, ones that measure what colleges do for their country, instead of for themselves. … Rather than laud the universities that mostly cater to the sons and daughters of the wealthy, we reward those that welcome students from everyday and low-income backgrounds and help them to graduate on time, with good jobs and low debt,” said Editor Rob Wolfe. “Rather than rely on vague surveys of institutions’ ‘reputation’ for academic prowess, we measure hard data on research spending, faculty awards, and rates of Ph.D. attainment among graduates. And instead of boosting universities for how generous their alumni are in giving to their endowments, we rank the generosity of alumni toward their community: How many join the Peace Corps and the military, or pursue careers as social workers or teachers?”  

SUNY Potsdam also was recognized in Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) rankings, which lists campuses that help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. The College came in at No. 68 in that ranking, out of 388 institutions that made the cut. Among public institutions, SUNY Potsdam ranks at No. 30 in the Northeast for value. 

The College rates highly thanks in large part to the social mobility return it provides for graduates, helping students from all socioeconomic backgrounds earn their degrees and go on to fulfilling and successful careers, with as little debt as possible. Additionally, Potsdam scores highly for the number of undergraduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. or doctorate. The College also earned high scores for the percentage of federal work-study funds spent on service, and for the percentage of graduates studying service-oriented majors like health, education and social service.  

To view the full rankings and read more about the methodology, visit

About SUNY Potsdam:  
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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